In Brief: It's his fault for being so short, says Ronaldo after breaking player's nose

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The Independent Football

Cristiano Ronaldo has proclaimed his innocence over the challenge that broke a defender's nose and which saw the midfielder dismissed.

The former Manchester United player struck Malaga's Patrick Mtiliga while challenging for the ball during Sunday's 2-0 victory and was shown the red card for the second time in less than two months. "I didn't mean to injure the lad," he said. "I'm very sad for what happened. It was bad luck to hit him on the nose because he's only 1.70 metres and if he had been taller I would have struck his chest. I wouldn't want to injure anybody. I'm not that type of person."

Ronaldo had earlier scored both of his side's goals to leave Real Madrid five points behind leaders Barcelona in La Liga, and insisted he preferred to do his talking on the pitch. "I'm not a bad person, I only want to shine by playing football," he said. "Now I'm going to be angry when I get home because I won't be able to play through suspension." Ronaldo apologised to Mtiliga after the incident but could now be banned for up to three games, beginning with Saturday's trip to Deportivo la Coruña.

Kirkland suffers further injury setback at Latics

Wigan Athletic goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has been ruled out for up to three weeks after damaging a collarbone in training. The 28-year-old England international has been troubled by a back problem for several months, although manager Roberto Martinez insists there is no link with the new injury.

"This is completely new, I must stress that," the Spaniard said. "It could have happened to anyone," he added. The Serbia international Vladimir Stojkovic is likely to deputise after impressing at Notts County last weekend.

Black Cat target Cabanas recovers after shooting

Paraguay striker Salvador Cabanas remains in a critical condition after being shot in the head on Sunday night. The 29-year-old international, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League with Sunderland, was struck following an incident in Mexico City and was taken to an intensive care unit. "The first report is that the bullet entered the front of his head and did not exit," said Mexico's attorney general Miguel Angel Mancera. Cabanas scored 28 goals for Club America last season.

Italian keeper commits long-term future to Gunners

The goalkeeper Vito Mannone has become the latest Emirates player to sign a long-term contract with the Gunners, following forwards Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner, amongst others, in committing himself to the club. "This is a great moment for me," the 21-year-old said. "I want to become the No 1 here and help the team win trophies." The Italy Under-21 international, who joined from Atalanta in 2005, made his debut last May and has played eight times for Arsenal this season.

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